Sunday Evening

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20 minute run…10 minute shower…shorts and a t-shirt…bowl of cereal…out the door by 9:15…coffee on the run.

A weekend morning when a trip to Chatuchak Market is in the cards.

We don’t do it often, but when we do, there is no way but to embrace a rushed pace that means we might beat the crowds at this enormous outdoor market.

Chatuchak Weekend Market is a Bangkok institution.  I believe it is possible to find anything you can imagine in its endless shops and maze-like interior.  If you are a repeat shopper at Chatuchak, there’s always something new.  And whether a veteran or a newbie, it’s always a good idea to come armed with one of these.

I have written about Chatuchak market before, but I have never gone in search of a particular item.  Chatuchak (or “JJ” as it is most often called around here) is the best place to buy all those fun little things that you never knew you needed.  A dream for impulse purchases.  Trickier for planned buys.

The Nancy Chandler map is one of the best resources to help navigate JJ and possibly uncover a secret or two in a tucked-away corner.


We braved JJ on this particular morning because there is one large purchase I am hoping to make while we are in Thailand.  A kitchen table.  We rent a furnished apartment in Bangkok, and for someone who loves the sort of meals where people linger around the table for hours, the table in our apartment doesn’t fit the bill.  It’s glass, the chairs look like they’re straight out of the Jetsons and most dismaying of all, the whole thing is uncomfortable.  Although, it’s not so bad when I deck it out with a table runner and flowers…

In any case, Frank and I have been searching for a dining room table that “fits” us.  We (okay, well, probably more me) have given every inch of this new table careful thought, from the color of the wood to the exact dimensions that would be inviting, but accomodate more people than our current 4-person max.  We want a table that is a bit more “Jess and Frank 2012” and a bit less like the funiture we might own if we, say…lived on the moon in 2199.

A kitchen table that “fits” is as unique to every family as are holiday traditions and favorite meals.  I am certain that I will know “our” table when I see it.  After exploring several furniture stores in Bangkok and going through several rounds of Thenglish (Thai/English) over email with furniture stores in Chiang Mai, we are still searching and decided to brave the morning heat at Chatuchak market to see if we they had something that might work.  The options were as diverse as our fellow JJ shoppers.

With the Chandler map in hand, armed with patience sunglasses and bottles of water, we dove in.  In search of the perfect kitchen table.  Unfortunately, the answer still seems a bit out of reach.  We didn’t find “the one” just yet.  The good news is that a day at JJ is never wasted, considering how much there is to see.  We checked out the spirit houses (another, much smaller, item we would like to buy).

And I was completely drawn in by these miniature trees that so remind me of both The Little Prince’s baobab trees and his lovely rose.  Is it just me?

After a hectic morning and a few hours bouncing around JJ market, I couldn’t be happier to be curled up at home.  Dinner is cooking, and a movie calls.

Savoring these last quiet hours before the week kicks in.

Other posts about Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market:

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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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  1. Searching for ‘the perfect’ item of anything is always so tricky. I can’t imagine what it’s like when you throw in language! At least the search looks like fun. Don’t think I’ve ever been to a market big enough to have a map.

  2. Oh, what a wonderful adventure.. I was trying to guess which table you chose… but it wasn’t any of these! I can’t wait to see what you find, I can’t believe the variety in choices! I would imagine you couldn’t possibly see everything in one go, judging by that map!

  3. Wow that market looks amazing. Sorry you haven’t found the one yet but I know you will soon!
    xoxo from Trinidad